Can a Bicycle Helmet Decrease the Risk of Catastrophic Brain Injuries?
Spring is in full swing in Colorado, which means that adults and children alike are heading out onto the roads to enjoy bicycling. Although Colorado does not require bicyclists to wear helmets, choosing a helmet may significantly reduce the risk of a fatal or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in certain accidents.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine examined 235 case studies of patients admitted to emergency rooms with head injuries following a bicycle crash. It compared these head-injury patients to 433 patients who received emergency room care for other bicycle accident injuries.
The study found that seven percent of the head-injury patients were wearing helmets when the accident occurred, compared to 24 percent of the non-head-injury patients. Ninety-nine of the head-injury patients had “serious brain injury,” but only four percent of these bicyclists were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The researchers found that, overall, wearing a helmet reduced patients’ risk of head injury by 85 percent and their risk of traumatic brain injury by 88 percent.
While bicycle helmets are not designed to prevent all injuries, they can prevent some head injuries and reduce the severity of other head injuries if they fit correctly and are worn regularly.
Bicyclists in Colorado have the same right to use the public roads as cars have, as long as bicyclists follow the rules of the road. When drivers aren’t watching for bicyclists or don’t respect their right to share the road, however, serious accidents can result. The experienced Colorado Springs bicycle accident lawyers at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can help. Contact us today to learn more.